The Vipashyana aspect of the Formless Meditation practice comes in as we begin to wonder what our experience actually is in itself. We do this by wondering what is the mind, what is a thought or a feeling, what is a sensation, what is the space of awareness in which all this happens. Continue reading What is Vipashyana Meditation?
There are many other ways that we can show our appreciation and respect in the shrine room as well as in practice situations by gestures of honouring and appreciation as we encounter the sacred. One way to do this is to place gifts on your shrine. We use the Tibetan tradition that comes from India of offering seven or eight bowls of water. Continue reading What do the bowls of water on a shrine represent?
We can train ourselves to notice the impulse to fill up every moment so that there are no gaps – the disease of our age – and we could let that go sometimes. Instead, we could start programming gaps into our day. Relaxed unfocused awareness is the very ground of our being; it is that space that we both long for and are terrified of. We must be careful not to use our Dharma practice as another way to distract ourselves from this great ‘nowhereness’ that is right under our noses and that we are trying to deny. Continue reading Making space for ‘Gaps’: Are you filling up every moment of your day doing something or distracting yourself, so there are no gaps?
This power of making pranidhanas – the power of our intention and our resolve, is important for us to understand right from the start of the path because it’s is the same power we use when we decide we are going to do anything at all, such as meditate every day, or follow the path to Awakening. This power of our resolve is a power inherent to our awareness and something we have immediate access to. Continue reading Introducing the Power of Pranidhanas – the power of our wishes and intentions
To access our ever-present inner resources we need to connect to what I call the Heart Wish, a place somewhere within us that is the source of all our wishes. By this I don’t mean something we wish for; it’s not our ideas about what we think we would like, but a deep place in our being that those ideas emanate from. Continue reading Article: What is the Heart Wish?
The Buddha’s path means giving up attachment to all we are holding on to. It means giving up our cherished views about ourselves and the world. This can be as scary as death itself. It is easy to have doubts, thinking that maybe the whole idea of Enlightenment or Awakening is a pipe dream or a fantasy. Deep reflection on death, however, can help us cut through this kind of doubt. Continue reading Why Reflection on Death Is Our Dearest Friend
In a sense, we are aware all the time. We are never without awareness. Awareness is all that we are and all that we have. Experience always involves awareness. But we do not always remember to turn our attention to what we are experiencing. In order to do so, we need to keep waking up Continue reading How to Practice Daily Life Awareness
We have a booklet of Yogic Songs and at the end of each day we choose one of the songs to sing together and in this way keep our connection with the tradition of Yogic songs of realisation. As we sing them again and again we find we are learning them by heart, almost effortlessly, and they are a wonderful expression of our shared experience and culture. The words are profound and inspiring and as soon as we hear the melody somehow their meaning comes to mind. Continue reading Feature: Teaching on How to Use Yogic Songs as Dharma Practice
In order to perform the action of going for Refuge, we need something to direct our action towards. We need something to set in the place of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha at centre of the mandala of sacred space that we are creating. The custom is to use a Buddha image to represent the Buddha and a text of the teachings to represent the Dharma. The Sangha is present in the person who is going to give the Refuge and any other practitioners present at the ceremony. Continue reading Article: What does it mean to ‘take Refuge’?
The Heart Sutra tells us that what is known in the ordinary grasping way, by the complicated mind that has turned away from the simplicity of Reality, is actually false and not real. It all lacks self-nature Continue reading Article: Understanding the Heart Sutra